An introduction to Burmese cuisine

Me and Mai Mai (Mummy) 

Me and Mai Mai (Mummy) 

Min-ga-la-ba (hello)! Welcome to Baganspiration. I’m excited to be sharing with you all foody things that get me going including recipes and restaurant experiences. I hope you enjoy the read. I thought I should start by introducing you to Burmese cuisine.

Burmese cusine has unfortunately not been given the attention it deserves in the UK when compared with other Asian cuisines. This maybe due to the isolation the country experienced for many years whilst under military dictatorship but knowing its huge popularity in places like San Francisco where my Burmese Uncle Rodney lives along with four generations of our family, I think the lack of Burmese restaurants in London definitely has something to do with it.  In San Francisco Burmese food is booming with many Burmese restaurants concentrated in the Bay Area. Unfortunately London offers just one Burmese restaurant which I don’t think does this wonderful food justice, so I am excited to be bringing a Burmese dining experience to the London’s thriving food scene.

I think what makes Burmese food so wonderful is the fact it reflects the coming together of a myriad of ethnic groups that makes up Burma’s (Myanmar) population, who through combining aspects of their individual cuisines have created the uniquely tasting and delicious food of Burma. It is also heavily influenced by its geographical location and bordering countries India, Bangladesh, Thailand, China and Laos.

When I asked my Mum to sum up Burmese food she describes the five most important ingredients being onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and fish sauce. These ingredients give any meat, fish, poultry or vegetables a very distinct and aromatic taste she explains. Once you’ve eaten and smelt it you won’t forget it. Add fresh lemongrass also commonly used in Burmese recipes and its fragrance is elevated further. As you can already see Burmese food combines all the best aspects of the food of it's neighbouring countries like the spice of India and the fragrance of Thailand without being too oily. 

This is just a brief introduction. Over the course of these blogs I will be sharing with you traditional Burmese recipes including those of my family and more contemporary recipes that I have created with my own twist. If you have been to Burma and want to get in touch to share your food and travel experiences then please do, I would love to hear from you (eatbagan@gmail.com).

I hope to see you soon at one of our Burmese banquets.

Bhinebhine (Goodbye),

Cordelia x